Fran Tarkenton: I’m the greatest quarterback in NFL history

Former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton really likes Peyton Manning, but doesn’t believe he’s the best quarterback in the history of the NFL.

“I’ll give him 1b,’’ Tarkenton said via

Tarkenton believes he’s the best quarterback ever.

“I feel like I can outplay any of the quarterbacks that ever played,’’ Tarkenton, who starred from 1961-78, said in a phone interview with the Pioneer Press. “Go look at my record. Go look at my record in that era and what I did, the results that I got from passing and rushing. … In my mind, I played better than anybody that has ever played the position.’’

When Tarkenton retired he held the NFL record for most completions (3,686), attempts (6,467), yards (47,003) and touchdown passes (342).  He’s still in the top-ten of all those categories today.

“It’s amazing,’’ Tarkenton said. “I haven’t played the game since the 1970s and I’m still up in the top five or six. Think of that. Who else of my era is even close? … The game has changed, and I’m still sitting up there in pretty good position.’’

Unfortunately people do remember that he never won a Super Bowl after appearing in three.

He admits not winning the big game still hurts.

“Darn right, it does,’’ Tarkenton said.  “Bud (Grant, the Vikings coach who lost four Super Bowls) laughs at me. Bud moved on. Bud moved on the day after they lost. But not me. I’ve not forgotten. Every day and every night, it pisses me off.’’

Tarkenton believes he’s never brought up as the greatest quarterback because he never won a Super Bowl.

“They will never mention me,’’ Tarkenton said. “That’s fine. Because we never won a Super Bowl.’’

Tarkenton could be right, but we could argue all day as to who is the greatest quarterback in NFL history.


  1. Anonymous says

    Nobody in any era with a 56.997 completion % is the best QB ever. That’s damn near Michael Vick territory. Fran Tarkenton couldn’t hold Tom Brady’s, Payton Manning’s, Joe Montana’s or Brett Favre’s Jock. He’s just a bitter little man.

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